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A 1972 recording of an interview with Vivien Thomas

 Vivien Theodore Thomas (August 29, 1910 – November 26, 1985) was an African-American surgical technician who helped develop the procedures used to treat blue baby syndrome in the 1940s. He was an assistant to Alfred Blalock at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and later at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Without any education past high school, Thomas rose above poverty and racism to become a cardiac surgery pioneer and a teacher to many of the country's most prominent surgeons.

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